OMG & Plummer Park Pickleball Courts

OMG:  Our Story

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The One More Game Pickleball Club (OMG) was established in Edwardsville (year 2012) as a fun-loving group which enjoys the exercise, social interaction, camaraderie, and competition afforded by the game called pickleball.

 

In the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area, over 200 people of all skill levels and ages presently participate in pickleball, and the game is growing.

 

Pickleball is known as the fastest growing sport in the United States. It is supported through the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). Many of our OMG Club members are also USAPA members. The sport has a history of being played in Arizona and Florida, but it has migrated to the Midwest in both Illinois and Missouri. It began in Edwardsville when one of our members, after returning from a winter trip to Arizona, introduced the game to others. Many communities have developed permanent, dedicated pickleball courts. This is especially true in St. Louis and to a lesser extent in O’Fallon, Illinois. It has also taken hold in Springfield and other Illinois communities; not to mention additional Midwest cities.

 

In June 2020, 12 new pickleball courts were completed at the new Plummer Family Park in Edwardsville, Illinois, and opened to the public. While these courts are beautiful, they are missing one thing that will make them state-of-the art—court lighting. In an effort to reduce the Plummer Family Park construction budget, the lights and the shading structures were eliminated from the original project.

Since 2019, our One More Game Pickleball Club has embarked upon a fundraising effort to raise funds for the court lighting and the shade structures. We are pleased to announce that to date, our Club has raised $50,000 and is still working to obtain more funds. With the money raised thus far, we were able to purchase and have installed three, 20-foot by 30-foot shade structures. The remaining funds raised will go towards purchasing/installing the court lights.

What pickleball can do for the community?

  • Creates a healthy community of wellness, fun, competition, and socialization for citizens of all ages.

  • Generates revenue through hosting tournaments and events.

  • Generates revenue through groups of people visiting restaurants and bars after pickleball play.

What is pickleball and how is the sport growing?

Pickleball is deemed as one of the fastest growing sports. To learn more about the game and its growth statistics, see the information below.

 

 

Fundraising

What is our objective?

Our objective is to raise funds for the pickleball court lights at the Plummer Family Park.

The lack of court lighting reduces the amount of playing time these new courts receive as a significant amount of play takes place in the evening. People who work or who are in school can play pickleball only in the evenings. Also, during the hot and humid summer months, people cannot play during the day as it is too hot and humid, making daytime play dangerous. For some, playing during the evening hours is the only option.

Court lighting is estimated to cost between $125,000 to $175,000. We are working to finalize the exact cost.

Contributions for the lighting project will be sought from OMG Club members, organizations, businesses, and by holding special events.

What can you do to help?

Our area’s pickleball players are extremely excited to have the new Plummer Park Courts. By adding the court lighting, our area will have a state-of-the-art facility.

Please consider making a contribution towards the Plummer Park Pickleball Court lighting project. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law. Contact your tax advisor for details.

If you wish to contribute, simply follow the instructions shown below. If you have questions, contact Bob Biarkis at 618-973-2814 or Tom Hewlett at
618-830-8430. 
Thank you!

Instructions for contributing:

1. Click on the green "Click here to contribute" button shown below or at the top of this page. The Plummer Park Pickleball Court Contribution Form will open.

2. Complete and submit the form.

3. Write your check for the amount you wish to contribute. Make the check payable to the "City of Edwardsville."
     - On the memo line, write “pickleball lights and shade”. (This is important as it will ensure your contribution goes specifically toward the lighting and shading.)

4. On a separate piece of paper, record the name of each contributor and his/her address. The City of Edwardsville requests this additional information even if the name and the address on your check is the same as the contributor and his/her address.

5. Mail the check & the contributor/address info to:  City of Edwardsville, Parks Department, 118 Hillsboro Avenue, PO Box 407, Edwardsville, IL 62025.

USAPA 2018 Pickleball Fact Sheet

To view the video entitled What is Pickleball, visit this site:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqLRRNOpe8U

 

Pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The sport is played on a badminton-sized court with the net set to a height of 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles. It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. In addition, the game has developed a passionate following due to its friendly, social nature, and its multi-generational appeal. Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. The game is popular in school physical education programs and in adult living communities.

The sport is governed by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA.org), which maintains the rules, promotes the sport, sanctions tournaments, and provides player rankings. For more information on the USAPA, visit:  www.usapa.org.

History

2018 marked the 53rd Anniversary of pickleball, as it was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, by three enterprising dads—Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Their children were bored with their usual summertime activities. It evolved from the original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout North America and is now taking off in other parts of the world. The origin of the game’s name is thought to be derived from Joel Pritchard’s family cocker spaniel, “Pickles,” who loved to chase stray balls and hide them in the bushes.

The Court and Equipment

A pickleball court is 20’ x 44’ for both singles and doubles. The net is hung at 36” at the ends, and hangs 34” in the middle. A non-volley zone extends 7’ back from the net on each side, commonly called “the kitchen.” Competitive paddles used in pickleball are constructed from a high-tech composite, ranging in cost from $50-$150 each. An official pickleball is made of plastic and is between .78 to .935 ounces and 2.874 to 2.972 inches in diameter. There are no color restrictions other than the ball must be a single, consistent color. The USAPA has tested and approved a number of outdoor and indoor balls for official tournament play. 

Places to Play

Every US state and all Canadian provinces now have pickleball venues. Senior residence communities, YMCAs, local community recreation centers, schools and parks are just some of the places likely to have pickleball courts. The USAPA compiles the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of places to play on a new dedicated website:  places2play.org. The known places to play total of 5,869 at the end of 2017 and is growing each year.

Tournaments

The USAPA supports and sanctions tournaments throughout the United States. In 2009, the USAPA held the first Nationals Pickleball Tournament in Buckeye, Arizona. Over 400 players participated in divisions for all ages. In 2017, the USAPA National Championships were the largest tournament to date, with more than 1300 registered players competing. CBS Sports Network carried a two hour nationally televised broadcast of the event.

Estimated Pickleball Players Within the United States

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2017 Pickleball Participant Report, reported pickleball currently has 2.815 million players in the US—an increase of 12.3% over last year. SFIA is the premier trade association for top brands, manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the American sporting goods and fitness industry 1906.  Additional details from the 2016 SFIA Report are:

  • 1.57 million were “Casual” participants who play 1-7 times a year (13% of Casual participants are age 55 and older).

  • 930 thousand were “Core” participants who play 8 or more times a year (75% of Core participants are age 55 and older).

  • The rate of growth in participation from 2014 to 2015 was 1.8%, from 2.462 million to 2.506 million. (Note:  This growth rate is likely underestimated since 2014 was the first year for including pickleball in the SFIA report and the base number is open to question.)

  • Comparing Casual and Core participants:

ü  Casual were 63% male and 37% female.

ü  Core were 73% male and 27% female.

ü  The age breakdown for Casual and Core are very different—with Core players being, on average, significantly older.

Ø Ages 6-17:  Casual 18.5%; Core 0.8%

Ø Ages 18-34:  Casual 11.7%; Core 5.5%

Ø Ages 35-54: Casual 29.4%; Core 19.2%

Ø Ages 55-64:  Casual 7.7%; Core 31.8%

Ø Age 65+:  Casual 5.4%; Core 42.7%

Ø The 2.5 million total participants represent 0.9% of the US population.

 

Visit the OMG website at https://omgpickleballclub.com